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Microsoft Continues to be EU’s Punching Bag

December 24, 2009

… this time over browsers.  And Microsoft settles.   Wired.com reports on the European Commission’s investigation — offspring of the antitrust wars with Microsoft in the early aughts — that this time focused on the bundling of Internet Explorer (IE) with Microsoft’s Windows Operating System (OS).

The recent settlement with the EC requires Microsoft to give users of 30 European countries an option to download an alternative browser to IE  during updates and new installations of Windows.  Basically they have to tell people, “You don’t have to use our stuff … just ’cause you’re using our OS.”

If Microsoft fails to deliver on its promises, the EC can levy fines of up to 10% of Microsoft’s revenues.  That was $60 billion in 2008, so 10% of that would be … gee, a lot.

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